Keeping the eyes on a fixation point modulates how a symbolic cue orients covert attention

Michele BurigoUniversity of Bielefled
Pia KnoeferleUniversity of Bielefeld

Abstract

Studies on covert attention usually monitor participants’ eye movements in order to prevent participants from moving their eyes away from a central fixation point. However, given our frequently dynamic attention behavior, keeping the gaze on a fixation point may be effortful and require attentional resources. If so, then trying to maintain fixation should interfere with covert attention orienting because both maintaining fixation and attention orienting require attentional resources. Here we present two eye tracking experiments showing that the amount of attentional resources involved in maintaining fixation affects how an arrow orients covert attention.

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